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Baptism, which means literally the immersion in water, is very specifically the act of a person’s death and resurrection with Jesus Christ. Baptism in the Church begins with the rejection of Satan and the acceptance of Christ. Before being baptized, a person—or his sponsors or godparents for him—officially proclaims the symbol of Christian faith, the Creed. Because the godparent speaks on behalf of the child, sponsors his entrance into the Church and “receives” the child out of the baptismal waters into the Church and cares for his spiritual life, the godparent himself must be a member of the Church. Through the act of immersion, the baptized person dies to this world and is born again in the resurrection of Christ into eternal life. He is clothed with the “garments of salvation” symbolized by the white baptismal robe which is the “new humanity”. Before the baptismal procession and the reading of the Epistle and the Gospel is fulfilled in the reception of Holy Communion, the newly-baptized is given the gift of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Chrismation.

For the celebration of the sacrament of Baptism

  • For Baptism and the name that will be given to the child, the consent of the father and mother is required.
  • Parents must present the child’s birth certificate and copies of their passports to the priest, and sign a petition addressed to the Metropolitan.
  • The sponsor, male or female, must be an Orthodox Christian and provide an attestation of it. Anyone who is not baptized cannot become a sponsor.
  • The name must normally be taken from the calendar of the Orthodox Church.
  • In order to baptize an adult or an older child, appropriate catechism is required. In order to baptize a child, a meeting of the parents and the sponsors with the priest is required.

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